I took my first and only trip to Hollywood with the then-wife during the summer of 2005. Screenwriting was nowhere near the agenda. I was preparing for what would be the worse U.S. Natural Disaster, Hurricane Katrina.
Seventeen years later, I'm quietly working my way through Film Festivals in Hollywood.
Earlier this year, my screenplay, Legal Passion, received the Special Jury Award at the Hollywood International Film Festival. More importantly, second-place finish was a qualifier for the International Movie Database.
Last month, Legal Passion won best feature screenplay at the Hollywood Academy Film Awards. While not a IMDB qualifier, this victory is equally important.
I've submitted to film festivals in Hollywood, Los Angeles and Sacramento and gotten crushed over the years, but these two Hollywood wins will always remain close to my heart.
The dumbest decision I ever made continues to haunt me.
Twenty-eight years ago, I turned away from a relationship that lasted from 1991 to 1994. It began during my final year at Stillman College and ended after she graduated from the University of Alabama in 1994.
One day she called me at work in Biloxi, Mississippi. She planned to study fashion in New York City, but if there was a chance to have a family and get married, she'd take it.
My heart went pitter-patter and it skipped a beat. My body froze quicker than a snowman at the North Pole. I was in love with her and wanted nothing more than Everlasting Love. We'd make our own version of Married....With Children.
Deep down, my conscience prevented me from doing so. She'd resent me for not allowing her to go and one day, she'd leave.
By the time she returned to Alabama five years later, I was about to get married. She began dating her eventual husband and father of two girls.
My only marriage ended after 10 years. I have two girls. It's plain and simple: her marriage worked and mine did not.
In a heavy dose of symbolism, I work in her hometown. I run into her sister and mother I often joke about what could've been.
I tried to start a second time with another Selma, but her sorority and materialism kept it from going anywhere.
I passed up True Love in the Spring of 1994 and it hasn't been the same since.
Father's Day has come and gone for 2022.
The third Sunday in June is another day to me. It's been locked in my DNA since the day I entered the world on October 18, 1969. I never had a father or dad, just someone I refer to as a sperm donor. Saying that is being kind to him.
My heart always tightened whenever I saw my friends with their fathers. Whether to pick them up from school or watch them play sports. All of that eluded me.
A glimmer of hope flashed between 1999 and 2008, when the child lived with me. At first, shivers slid down my spine over being a father. As time passed, my heart stalled for moments. We did a lot of great things together. I enjoyed being a dad as my tight muscles loosened.
We haven't talked in four years, she's now a mother with two kids. My loose lips drop open in dejection, unable to hide my disappointment from us not talking.
Symbolism surrounds me. I had a deadbeat dad and I'm being treated like a deadbeat dad.
The month of May provided a few historic moments for me. I finally had a breakthrough in the unpredictable world of screenwriting sports movies.
I earned Special Jury Awards at two prestigious Film Festivals in Hollywood and Canada. To me, it's a second place finish behind the Best Feature Screenplay award. At least that's what I put down for the International Movie Database.
Getting the Boot was honored at the Canada Independent Film Festival. The Boot emerged as my second most popular script.
Legal Passion was rewarded at the Hollywood Independent Film Festival. Legal Passion is regarded by Film Festivals as my best script and I won't dispute that claim. Most of my victories have been at the expense of Legal Passion, a film set in Rome, Italy.
All of this success tickles my brainwaves as I'm anxious to see what success awaits me going forward. Stay tuned. This may be fun.
It was the worst Easter I ever experienced.
Easter Eve and Easter Sunday both ended up an all wet affair in the Deep South, particularly where I grew up in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
All of my plans were canceled on the count of heavy rain and thunderstorms, both Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday.
First, I planned to attend Alabama's Spring football game at Bryant-Denny Stadium. I secured a media pass, perhaps, for the last time since we currently have a sportswriter at The Selma Times-Journal who will be attending Crimson Tide home games.
It rained three hours before kickoff and during the game, not an ideal situation for me. Not having the game televised sucked rotten eggs as ESPN sold its soul for the NBA. I guess ESPN forgot college football is a religion in the South.
The church, whom I had been attending all month for a Easter program countywide outdoors, got rained out. The Pastor, whom I became fast friends five month since arriving in Selma. Alabama, delivered a powerful sermon.
I did not sit by the woman, who I've been seeing since 2019, because we had a heated argument on Good Friday. It was over her mis-step on her daughter's performance and her mis-communication. Not that big a deal to me, but she blew it.
Oh well. Easter is over. We can look forward to Memorial Day.
March Madness is more than about basketball.
I must that this is the best my bracket has ever done whenever I decide to participate. Half of my Final Four can still win it all, but they play each other.
My national champion, Kansas, is headed to the Final Four, if the Jayhawks beat Miami on Sunday. I'm thinking about my friend, Sandra Marshall, a Kansas native and Jayhawk fan. I'm not if she's still alive, but enjoyed our friendship during the author run in the early 2010's.
The other pick, Villanova, punched their ticket to the national semifinals on Saturday. Oh well, I may get a national championship pick.
Back to the assorted March Madness. The regular job of mine at the newspaper where the press we print broke down and moved up our deadlines around lunchtime. Copy and pages were rushed, meaning the chances for mistakes increased.
The upper level don't understand, more concerned about a magazine on short notice with reluctant and unclear subjects.
I'm slowly fading out of the sports scene with the new person working his way into the grind of mixing news and sports. The new person arrived when basketball season, limiting our coverage to four live games by between December and March.
One person, an Administrator and head coach for one team that made the state tournament, bitched on Social Media of our no coverage. If the person asked, they would've known I was alone and already been promoted, meaning little time for prep hoops. Comparing me to a person who had a full staff, not one or two people. The person needed to do their research.
I reached out to the person when they made the Final Four and for all state picks, no calls were returned. The person apparently sent in nominations, but it failed because I'm on committee for area. Coaches in area nominate to me and I give to the committee.
All I heard was more bitching about those players on All County in wrong positions, called our newspaper trash and my picks meant nothing to them. I fired back, guess that surprised them, called me a sell-out and said I shouldn't go to basketball gyms here anymore. Told the person I go where I damn well please and at their school since they don't own it.
The remarks made the person sound like a political candidate about to lose badly in a race. None of my girls did name calling in high school, grew out of it in middle school. The direct messages with name calling was childish. Told the child about during her 17th birthday and she thought it was stupid.
Our new person wrote a column, ripping the person for not setting an example as a leader of the school and causing their own mistake. Resorting to character assassination and comparing me to a white employee whom I did not work with can be considered borderline racism.
I did not resort to name calling and served as the adult. I acted my age and not someone who seemed unhinged. A waste of time bitching about coverage for the second-best basketball team in the area when no one can cover every school.
Former students at the school said the complaints were paper cover their rival, the best team in the area.
Feel like I was in the 1971 legendary Brady Bunch episode, "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia," instead insert the school name. My advice is simple: learn from your mistake, swallow your pride and do not repeat it next year.
Sports has dominated my life in its many forms. Baseball was my first love. Once thought I'd spent my teenage years in the outfield chasing fly balls and hitting them out of the park at the plate.
By the time I turned 13, football consumed my brain. I just wanted to watch the game on TV and play pick-up games with friends showcasing my strong arm throwing deep passes. I eventually played high school football as a short lineman who scored a touchdown.
I later translated those skills into a award-winning sportswriter and eventually Sports Editor during a stellar 26-year career.
I'm Managing Editor now who occasionally write sports. I'm going to step aside and limit my sports-writing because people complain about lack of coverage.
Since last Easter, I've been a one=man show for most of that span. At Christmas, I heard complaints about honorees not liking photos.
Since New Year's Day, I've gotten complaints about lack of basketball coverage. I went to a few games, but that was not enough.
Two of our teams, from the same school, reached the state tournament. We are only a two-person newsroom and can't afford to go. People know that from their fanbase, but don't seem to care.
I've always said this: "Barack Obama becoming President changed things for the worse among African-Americans. Black people think they're entitled to something special."
It's sickening where I live now. Racism is out of control. Some deserved, a lot undeserved. Love the area, not all of it.
The New Year hasn't been kind to yours truly.
One of the teams I grew rooting for, Alabama Crimson Tide, was hammered in the national championship game in football. While I expected the Tide to fall short of repeating, it still stung. Anyone who knows me will tell you I eat, drink and sleep football.
The biggest blunder is being without my cellphone since January 8. It sucks when the insurance after paying the deductible jerks you around.
Everyday since last Saturday working to no end getting nowhere. The non-American company gets the address wrong and blame you. This is why I stayed American on cars for years.
The one thing about not being married, the X and her mother, would've laid the smack down without breaking a sweat.
Where was former First Lady Michelle Obama when I needed her? Definitely needed a strong black woman in this situation.
No phone prevents me from doing my job, I've really lost faith in people and companies. Especially when a woman you have a major attraction to, lets you down. It may be time to plant roots in another area.
Christmas has gotten better over the last few years.
For the fourth straight year, I've been able to spend the holiday in my hometown without taking vacation time.
Christmas Eve is reserved for one of the girls, who doesn't want anyone to come between us. She's 16 and smart and gives her wish list in September, giving me enough time to save money for a fancy laptop with insurance in case things go bad.
It was immediate family for Christmas Day, more my style. The only negative was my brother being sidelined with a hand contusion to keep from working from an accident caused by someone else. I'm praying for a quick recovery and provide financial assistance.
I've been in his shoes, but marriage was my pain in the ass. Fourteen years ago, she decided a day before New Year's Eve that we should split. It took me a few years to get back into the holiday spirit.
Some things never change. The woman, whom I'm interested in, is playing mind games. She thinks I want to propose marriage. I just want a girlfriend.
The way I see it, she don't want to share me with the area, since I am the newspaper's top editor. If one of my screenplays get made, she think I'll leave. Give me a reason to stay, I won't leave.
Oh well. at least Christmas was good.
JK Jones' writing career began as a junior at Holt High in 1986 as as Sports Editor of the Purple Reign, the school's newspaper until graduating in 1988. It opened the door to a long and successful sports writing career. As an author, several of Jones' E-books were best sellers. Jones has shown promise during the early stages of screenwriting. Jones' short screenplay, Instant Replay, was accepted by the Cannes Latitude Film Festival in 2016. Jones' most recent screenplay, False Start, was selected to the Chihuahua International Film Festival in November, 2019. For more information, visit https://www.scriptrevolution.com/profiles/jk-jones.